by Ulla de Stricker, Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect
On February 11, it was my privilege to participate in a panel during the fourth annual web2.you one-day conference organized by students at the McGill University School of Information Studies (Montreal) – see a review at http://inspiredlibraryschoolstudent.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/web-2-you-2011-a-success-for-the-4th-year-in-a-row/. The following day, the Canadian Library Association McGill Student Chapter and the CLA Montreal Chapter hosted one of my “career day” workshops (see http://inspiredlibraryschoolstudent.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/career-planning-at-any-stage-workshop-with-ulla-de-stricker/).
As always, I came away from such events impressed with the energy and creativity of today’s information students – and with a renewed sense that we who are well advanced in our careers have a lot to offer to, and must find ways to offer to, newer entrants in the area of professional preparation. They are very eager to enter into their first or second jobs and are – perhaps by definition – future ready in the sense of being open to any challenge and job type. What we seasoned professionals can do for them is to offer guidance with respect to
- seeking employment outside the traditional domains;
- strategies for gaining professional visibility; and
- means of navigating the politics and inevitable challenges encountered in any workplace.
The key takeaway: The profession stands to benefit by continuing and intensifying the work to establish close ties across “professional generations.” First, there is no reason each new entrant to our profession should need to learn the “lessons we learned the hard way” one by one…the challenge is finding the time in the busy schedules of the students for a focus on the soft skills required to succeed in the workplace. Second, more experienced professionals can learn a great deal from the practices and tools the younger professionals take for granted. Let’s work together to expand the connection and the dialog!
Ulla de Stricker is an Information and Knowledge Management Consultant helping clients address challenges and opportunities of discovering and capturing information objects and protecting and leveraging organizational memory. She is a well known speaker at professional events and frequent contributor to the professional literature. Her website www.destricker.com provides additional information and access to her KM blog.